The Pittsburgh Steelers are second in the league in takeaways, and first in the league in interceptions. But they are about to face a team that is in the top 10 in protecting the football, as well. The Indianapolis Colts’ nine interceptions on the season ranks as tied for the sixth-fewest, and their 12 total giveaways is just the third-fewest.
Something has to give—but then again, it’s the Steelers who have been giving lately. Despite having 25 takeways overall, 23 of them came in the first 11 games of the season. They have just two takeaways during their three-game losing streak, and they have zero in two of those games.
As for the Colts, they have not given the ball away even once during their own three-game winning streak. Overall, they have played seven clean games on the season, meaning games in which they did not turn the ball over even a single time.
Said Frank Reich about matching their ball security-oriented team against a ball-hawking defense, “whatever the psychology of it is by actually trying to hype it up even more, you can actually be counterproductive. So what we do is we continue to do what we do. We have a methodology, we have the fundamentals and technique”.
“We have the process in place in which we do it and we stick to that”, he added. “Yeah, they are a very good team at taking the ball away, but we’re good at keeping it away. We just continue on the path that we are on.”.
The Steelers have recorded at least one takeaway in 10 games this season. They have recorded at least two takeaways in a game nine times, and twice, they have recorded four takeaways in a single game, including against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
Pittsburgh has faced five of the top 10 teams in terms of giveaways this season (there are five teams tied for ninth). Of those five teams, they have played six games against them. They recorded at least one takeaway in five of those six games, and at least two in four of the five games in which they had at least one.
Hopefully, that is a good sign for Sunday’s game against a Colts team that ranks third in this metric. The Tennessee Titans are the lone top team against whom they did not record a takeaway, and they have the fewest in the NFL with just nine all season, tied with the Green Bay Packers.